MT Legislature: Breaking the Law

I guess I was a little surprised when I read about the 50 Republican Montana House members meeting in secret Thursday night to discuss the 2015 Legislative session.

The Great Falls Tribune has the story HERE.

I was surprised because they know better. This little meeting creates an atmosphere of distrust for an already skeptical citizenry – and this is even before the 2015 Legislative session begins.

The new Republican House leadership failed their first test. They should apologize to Montanans.

If you’ve read my commentary much, then you know that I poke a lot of fun at the members of the Montana Legislature. Separately, many members of the Montana Legislature are pretty decent people, but when they get together in Helena every two years many act like morons.

Some people do believe that caucuses should be private so that there can honest and open discussions.

Over at LastBestNews.com, Ed Kemmick, gives his thoughts about private caucuses and raises some good points.

The Great Falls Tribune asked readers the question, “Do you think the Republicans broke the law when they met after-hours in a Helena hotel basement?” The “No” votes were 56.6%, and the “Yes” votes were 43.4%.

The bottom line is that as of right now the issue about open caucuses in the Montana Legislature has already been decided by the court. According to the Tribune, in 1998 District Judge Thomas Honzel “declared all legislative caucus meetings must be open to the public.” Honzel reportedly wrote, “legislators gather at caucuses to discuss the public’s business” so “the public has a right to observe their discussions and to be informed about what happens at those meetings.”

It’s really pretty simple – those 50 or so Republican House state legislators who attended the secret meeting in Helena broke the law.

 

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